TAMPA — Bucs running back Doug Martin will be on the active roster and dressed for today's home game against the Bears, playing for the first time since injuring his hamstring eight weeks ago.
Martin practiced this week and showed progress each day but was listed as "questionable" in the final injury report.
Coach Dirk Koetter said Friday he had the final 48 hours before kickoff to be cleared to play, and Martin will be back in a Bucs uniform as Tampa Bay seeks its first home win of the season.
The Bucs were confident enough that they waived rookie running back Russell Hansbrough, who would have been the No. 3 running back had Martin been inactive.
Instead, they'll have Martin, veteran Mike James and rookie Peyton Barber. Martin finished second in the NFL last season and was rewarded with a five-year, $35.7 million contract this spring.
The Bucs waived Hansbrough to open a spot for defensive end Ryan Russell, who was promoted from the practice squad for depth.
The Bucs also promoted guard/center Ben Gottschalk from the practice squad, which suggests center Joe Hawley won't play. The Bucs will be without left guard Kevin Pamphile, so Evan Smith would step in at center and rookie Caleb Benenoch would make his NFL debut at left guard, with Gottschalk as the top backup at guard and center.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.